Toasted cheese sandwiches
During the Seventies, when people wanted a snack especially first thing in the morning or last thing at night they would head for their pine covered kitchen and reach for the Sandwich Toaster, probably made by Breville. You didn’t have a proper kitchen unless you had one of these and before long people worked out that toast was tastier if you put cheese on it. This is of course an unhealthy sort of snack but everyone partook until they realised this fact. Now these toasted sandwich devices lie in cobweb covered obscurity.
The alternative to rice pudding or porridge, semolina never seemed as popular. Perhaps because it is not quite rice pudding and not quite porridge people overlook it. Semolina itself is milled from a type of wheat called Durum Wheat. If you want to try to make the pudding all you have to do is pour semolina into milk in a saucepan and stir the mixture continuously until it starts to thicken and bubble which should take about seven minutes. That’s all it is. If the pudding is splattered across a nearby wall you’ve left it on too long..
For the first half of the 20th century no proper dinner was complete without a pile of limp and soggy cabbage plonked on the plate. However after the second world war and especially when people began taking more holidays abroad, it’s usage declined. Also people came to the inescapable conclusion that cabbage doesn’t really taste of anything. The name apparently derivers from the French word `caboche` meaning `head`.
Chicken a la King
For some this was their first taste of anything more exotic than fish and chips and during the Seventies it became a staple of school dinners. It consists of creamy chicken with diced green or red peppers and mushrooms. There are at least six different accounts of how the dish came to be, the most believed one being a meal specially prepared for one of the owners of a New York Hotel called Clark King who liked it so much he had it added to the menu and word spread from there. The dish was named Chicken à la King In his honour. Or it might just have been a king who liked chicken?
|Chicken a la King: It's a bit of a mess really isn't it?
Black Forest Gateau
An epic chocolate sponge, black cherry and cream cake that originated in Germany, for a while this became the must have centrepiece to any posh do. In a world of big flowery wallpaper and even bigger flowery hats it defined an assumed opulence that anyone could buy into. People would gasp at the appearance of a Black Forest Gateau. Now it is unlikely to be seen outside of the Great British Bake Off. The record for the biggest ever Black Forest cake was set in Germany of course with a bulging 3,000kg lump of chocolatey stuff.
Odd flavoured crisps
For a while you could only get three flavours of crisps- Ready Salted, Cheese & Onion or Salt & Vinegar. Then sometime during the 1980s the crisp market exploded and there was no flavour too obscure to be turned into a crisp. It started with the reasonably acceptable Chicken, then Beef, then Tomato Ketchup and on and on. Actually there is one type of crisp that never made it to the shops but which I sampled at the time and that’s Grouse. Not that bad at all, apparently other people who tried them didn’t enjoy the flavour and said it tasted of soil (?) and they were never seen again. Not that Grouse seems particularly outrageous when you consider that crisp flavours which have made it to the shops.
Probably not actual space dust. In fact nobody was ever quite sure what this was but kids in the Seventies loved it. It looked like a coloured powder but when you put it on your tongue it would fizz. Ingredients include sugar, lactose, corn syrup, flavouring and not, as some used to imagine, a small amount of actual dust from space. A scientist from 1974 writes: “The mixture is exposed to pressured carbon dioxide gas which causes high pressure bubbles to become trapped. When this is dissolved by your saliva it releases the carbon dioxide from the bubbles causing it to pop and sizzle. Groovykins.” Thanks, A Scientist. If you eat too much of it your head will not explode but you may spout gibberish for a while due to your tingling tongue. There is almost certainly still a stash of the stuff behind the tea bar in the House of Commons.
|Do not eat space dust or you will literally look like this.